Reliance Jio Infocomm Approaches Bharti Airtel For Undersea Data Cable Support

It appears Reliance is trying to bolster its latest 4G services & is willing to seek cooperation from all quarters. The company has signed a strategic partnership with regional competitor Bharti Airtel to piggyback on the latter’s undersea cable connecting India & Singapore.


What does the partnership entitle?

Bharti Airtel, the largest Indian telecom player, is also a huge telecommunications & internet support company. It has its own undersea cable called i2i. This cable stretches between India & Singapore & has a present capacity of ferrying data at the speed of 8 Terabits Per Second (in layman’s terms, 160 GBps). With 8 pairs of fiber optic, a total of 105 wavelengths can be used simultaneously. In simple words, the cable is a vital international connectivity medium that can transmit very large amount of data in a matter of milliseconds. In scale, the cable can relay 250,000 units of High Definition (HD) video conferencing simultaneously across the country without any hint of lag or errors.

What does Reliance Jio Infocomm gain?

Reliance has been working very diligently in setting up a powerful data network in the country. Simply labeled as 4G, the platform is capable of not only matching, but exceeding present-day wired broadband speeds.

Additionally, a recent announcement in conjunction with TRAI & Telecom ministry, companies who are gearing up to offer 4G can even use the same platform for voice communication. This is a huge opportunity for sustained revenue generation from a single technology.

Interestingly, only 3% (1 Tbps) is being utilized from the overall capacity of 30 Tbps from the total of 4 undersea cables in existence today. That is a serious underutilization of infrastructure. Making use of Bharti Airtel’s i2i, Reliance could offer high speed, near-instantaneous connection to not only the entire Asia Pacific Region, but could expand the same to US too.

Reliance Jio Infocomm has even inked a deal with its own sister concern Reliance Communications to utilize the latter’s fiber-optic cable network spread across India. It is also contemplating using the dormant capacity of 56,000 towers across the country.

By leveraging existing infrastructure, the Joint Venture (JV) is wisely saving a lot of money by not setting-up its own. Besides, it is also using the spare capacity & ensuring all the parties involved, earn from their investment. We will have to wait & see how much of this savings will be passed on to the customers when the service is made available. What do you think?

Image Courtesy |  ecomaxmc

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